In a certain light, a mudroom design can be a luxury space that gives you a sort of airlock between the outside world and the otherwise nicely appointed interior of your home. It gives you a place to store dirty boots, snowy clothes, dingy outerwear, and wet items before they have a chance to invade further. For pet owners, a mudroom can also be the perfect place to let the family dog “Shake” off the outside world.
Unfortunately, this casual stance can also leave a mudroom being chronically dirty, and perhaps even a little smelly. Rather than hosing the mudroom down with deodorizer on a daily basis, or wasting precious hours in the continual cleanup, there are a few things you can do to reduce the mess and maintain some semblance of order in your order.
Tip #1: Install A Curtain Area To Contain Dog Splatter
One of the first things a wet dog wants to do when they come through the door is to shake-off the outside world from their shaggy coat. Even when it’s just rain or snow this moment can paint your walls and jackets in a fine spray of dog scent. It can be even more catastrophic if your poochie pal has a bad habit of rolling around in dirty things he finds in the yard.
Something as simple as a shower curtain on a circular hoop, over top of a floor mat can contain the spray from getting to the rest of the room. Admittedly, it might take a little more training to get your dog on board with this idea.
A towel bar with a towel meant specifically for the dog is also a nice touch for giving him a final rub down before turning your dog loose in the rest of the house.
Tip #2: Keep A Boot Brushing Station Near The Door
In the wintertime, snow, ice, and residual salt can invade your home via the mudroom door. What might seem at first like a few drips here and there, can turn into a problem that finds a way to track itself into your home on the bottom of stockings and slippers. This is even more likely to be an issue if your mudroom also doubles as the family laundry room.
Something as simple as a boot brushing station or a wire mesh exterior mat can give everyone in the family a place to scrape off the snow before it comes in. Of course, a bristled interior floor mat on the other side of the door will also help to catch any bits and drips that do make it past the threshold.
You should also think about keeping a boot tray with an elevated shoe rack above it. This will allow the bottom of boots and shoes to drip dry, while also containing any runoff.
Tip Number Three: Keep A Broom And Mop Near The Door
There are bound to be times when even the most diligent use of a floor mat and boot brush simply isn’t enough to prevent drops and water spots from finding their way onto the mudroom floor. This is even more likely to be an issue if you have a dog.
Keeping a broom and a simple mop like a Swiffer near the door allows you to quickly clean up drips and messes without having to track more mess walking over to the other side of the room. A simple clip or peg hook is often sufficient for holding handles up and out of the way.
Tip #4: Use A Security Doggy Door
A lot of families with a mudroom and a dog will install a doggy door to allow their four-legged friend to essentially let himself outside. While it’s certainly convenient, it can also turn into a vulnerable entry point for unwanted nuisance animals. Particularly rodents who are looking for a warm place to make a home in the winter.
One way to prevent the very real risk of a filthy rat or mouse infestation in your mudroom is to install a doggy door with a security feature. They only cost a little more than a traditional flap-style door. The door hinge has a small radio receiver that reads a radio tag in the dog’s collar.
When the dog approaches the door, it unlocks the hinge allowing him to come and go as he pleases. All other times the door remains locked to prevent other animals from access. Many of these doggy doors also have superior weather seals compared to traditional dog flaps, which can also reduce heat loss in your mudroom.
Tip #5: Provide A Separate Hamper For Dirty Exterior Clothes
For many households, the mudroom also doubles as the laundry room. When a member of the family comes in from a rough and tumble day outside, you might not necessarily want them depositing a muddy sweatshirt in the same hamper with other delicate clothing items. Especially whites.
Keeping a separate hamper or laundry net bag near the mudroom’s exterior door gives everyone a convenient place to put soiled items. It also keeps them from tracking dirty any farther into the room.
Tip #6: Use Heavy Duty Fasteners For Coat Hooks
Winter jackets, snow pants, and other cold-weather clothing items tend to be heavy. A coat hook with a flimsy fastener like a small nail can be easily prone to pulling out of the wall. Not only can this drop the coat to the dirty floor, but it can also potentially damage the drywall, making an eyesore all it’s own.
A simple way around this is to upgrade the coat hook fasteners with coarse threaded screws or expanding drywall anchors. While you are at it, you might also want to upgrade to larger hooks which are robust enough to securely hold the thick collar of a winter coat.
Tip #7: Install Boot And Glove Dryers
Sweaty boot liners, wet shoes, and mittens don’t always do well in a household dryer. Even if you can manage to get them dry the noise and potential damage to the dryer’s tumble mechanism make it a poor long-term solution.
One inexpensive way to deal with this is to invest in two or more boot/glove dryers. They tend to be simple PVC tubes that blow hot air. The wet item is usually dry within a few hours. They are especially handy for making sure your kids have dry boots and gloves when they go to school the next morning.
Tip #8: Everyday Bag Storage & More
Last but not least is storage for everything else. We all need a place to store all the different bags our families use almost every day. Book bags for school, sports bags that carry our football, baseball and hockey equipment, to an organized place with baskets that can hold our hats, scarves, gloves, wallets, purses, pocketbooks and even umbrellas.